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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

  • Awards honour students' contributions
  • President's Circle awards for leadership
  • . . . and for students' volunteer work
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Students posing with their certificates]
Awards honour students' contributions

Ten Waterloo students were honoured — five for “leadership” and five for “volunteerism” — at a banquet and awards ceremony at the University Club in early December. Most of them were available to pose for a group picture (above) with university president Feridun Hamdullahpur, who was host for the event.

They’re the winner of the annual President’s Circle Awards, which involve both a certificate and a cheque, recognizing student contributions of a special kind toward the life of the university.

The President’s Circle Awards for Volunteerism, a web site explains, “were established in 1997 to recognize the significant contributions of students in volunteer work both within UW and the community at–large. The awards honour the extra–curricular contributions of students in a variety of service areas, some of which may not be highly visible but nonetheless important to the community. Up to five recipients are selected for awards of $500 each.”

The President’s Circle Awards for Leadership were added ten years later “to acknowledge the outstanding performances of student leaders at the University of Waterloo. The awards recognize students who have left a lasting impression on the UW campus through encouraging of student participation, acting as a role model, enabling others to become leaders, or taking initiative to lead by example to make the university community better. Up to five recipients are selected for awards of $500 each.

“Anyone (faculty, staff, students, member of community–at–large) can nominate a student for either award.”

As the name implies, the awards are funded by members of the President’s Circle — a donor recognition group made up of individuals who “have donated $1,000 or more to the University of Waterloo. Members play an important role in the development of UW, not only directly through contributions, but indirectly through the example they set for corporations, foundations, alumni, and others.

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President's Circle awards for leadership

The student life office, which looks after administration of the awards program each year, has provided these citations for the 2010 winners of the Leadership awards:

• Michael Makahnouk has taken on many leadership roles throughout his time at the University of Waterloo, advocating for students of all ages.  Through his work with Chemistry Tutoring in Residence, as a speaker at Southwood Secondary School with the “Let’s Talk Science” outreach program and as a Director-At-Large on the Graduate Student Association, Michael’s leadership initiatives have positively impacted students of all ages. Michael, a third year Science PhD candidate, is “someone who selflessly strives to inspire and help students become leaders with his contagious enthusiasm” and his passion is evident in all that he does. 

• Andrew Robertson, an "Aging, Health and Well-Being" kinesiology master’s student, is a “tireless leader for graduate students both within kinesiology and across the university.” Sitting on the Kinesiology Graduate Student Association, UW human research ethics committee and the UW Graduate Student Council, Andrew acts as a voice for many others on campus. As the President of the KGSA, Andrew was responsible for leading Orientation Week for incoming graduate students.  Andrew was also a founding member of the “Dr. Aftab Patla Memorial Cup,” an annual hockey game which began in 2007. As his nominator stated, “Andrew’s enthusiasm and vision, along with positive influence, have encouraged many others to become leaders.”

• Bojana Savic has been involved in many areas on campus, including the Serbian Students Association, the UW World University Service of Canada/Student Refugee Program and the Waterloo Science Endowment Fund. In her fourth year of a joint honours Economics & Environment and Resource Studies degree, Bojana often “takes time out of her busy schedule to perform numerous acts of kindness, making a difference in other students’ lives.” Bojana has identified needs in a variety of areas throughout her time at Waterloo and has stepped up to fill critical roles and revitalize many organizations with her hard work, dedication and leadership.

• Jonah Hu, a third year Computing and Financial Management student, “has a perpetually positive attitude, is active, engaged and inspiring to his fellow students.” Jonah sits on the Accounting and Finance Students Association as both the VP External and Manager, Communications, perpetually acting as an advocate for all Computing and Financial Management students. A notable quote from one of Jonah’s references stated that Jonah “has inspired all School of Accounting and Finance students to become more involved and to take ownership of their own learning.” He has also taken on many leadership roles within the redevelopment of many websites including the School of Accounting and Finance and the Waterloo Stratford Campus.

• Leah Henderson is in her third year of Systems Design Engineering and spends her free time involved in the Engineers Without Borders program, where she is the Director of Global Engineering. Over the past year, Leah has developed the Global Engineering program, and her referees believe that “her journey throughout building this program from scratch makes her a strong role model for other students looking for leadership experience.”  Even though Leah is currently studying abroad, she continues to facilitate meetings with other student leaders on campus.

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. . . and for students' volunteer work

And the winners of the Volunteerism awards this year:

Julia Read, a fourth-year Renison social work student, gives to the community in many ways, especially as a member of the Renison University College community, where she has been a part of the Ministry Centre and the Renison Academic Students Association. Julia also volunteers in the community as a member of the board of directors for Stonehenge Therapeutic Community, a youth engagement volunteer for North-South Partnership for Children (working with northern First Nations communities) and a Community Garden Organizer for a transitional house for the Canadian Mental Health Association. Julia is “an excellent example to others in her tireless determination to give back to her community.”

• Azra Premji is a second-year Kinesiology-Neuroscience master’s student who has volunteered throughout her years at Waterloo. She has organized and implemented the first and second annual Brain Bee Competition and has volunteered with the International Shadow Program. Outside of uWaterloo, Azra is a presenter for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, educating community members about healthy eating and exercise, as well as an organizer for the annual AHS Walk For Heart. Azra spends her Saturdays volunteering for the Ismaili Tariqah & Religious Education Board, where she has been a volunteer religion teacher for the past 6 years. Providing service to the community is a priority for Azra and she has made a tremendous impact on all organizations she works with.

• Denise Soueidan-O’Leary has been nicknamed the “world changer” through her involvement in Beyond Borders, as her enthusiasm and passionate participation are energizing to all around her. Denise is the owner of “Cookies With A Cause,” a fundraiser and women’s shelter Liaison with the Students School Shelter Committee, and a performer with the Beaver Bible Class’s Spring Fling fundraiser performances. Denise, a fourth-year Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies student, volunteered at the Ternopil Internat for Girls with Disabilities in the Ukraine during her Beyond Borders placement.

• Jessie Xiong, a fourth-year Legal Studies, Sociology and Criminology student, is an “open-minded, approachable, friendly, dedicated and hard-working” individual. She is a mentor with Ray of Hope, has volunteered with Kitchener-Waterloo Counselling Services, and is a friend/mentor with the Mental Health Association. Jessie is a long-time Sunday school teacher and she currently volunteers at Grand Valley Institute, working with many of the women there. Jessie devotes her skills to help people in need smile. 

• Laurie Guay is an active member at the Ministry Centre at Renison University College, welcoming students to the community, as well as an active volunteer on many committees within Renison. Volunteering within her faith continues outside of school, as she has taught Sunday School for South Kinloss Presbyterian Church for a number of years. Laurie, a fourth-year Social Development Studies student, was a don for three terms at Renison, acting as a role model and engaging students around her. This past summer, Laurie travelled to Uganda with Sleeping Children Around the World to distribute bedkits. Laurie is always able to put the needs of others before herself and has clear focus and vision in all her work with charity.


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Link of the day

You are getting sleepy

Student senators to be elected

A memo from the university secretariat invites nominations for the following undergraduate student seats on Senate:

• One student elected by/from the full-time undergraduate students in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, term May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2013.
• One student elected by/from the full-time undergraduate students in the Faculty of Engineering, term May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2013.
• One student elected by/from the full-time undergraduate students in the Faculty of Mathematics, term May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2013.
• One student elected by/from the full-time undergraduate students, term May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2013.

The nomination form is online. At least five nominators are required in each case. Completed nomination forms should be submitted to the Chief Returning Officer, Secretariat, NH 3060, no later than 3:30 p.m., Friday, January 14, 2011. Elections, if necessary, will coincide with the annual Federation of Students elections.

Information about Senate and its committees/councils is online. Undergraduate student senators completing their terms of office as of April 30, 2011 are  Dave Smith (applied health sciences), Jay Shah (engineering), Ian Kasper (mathematics) and Heather Mawhinney (at large). All are eligible for re-election.

When and where

Winter term classes begin Tuesday, January 4.

Bookstore, E-Smart, Waterloo Store and Write Stuff, South Campus Hall, open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today through Thursday; 9 to 5 Friday; 12 to 4 Saturday.

Feds Used Books, Student Life Centre, open 8:30 to 5:30 Monday-Friday this week and next; Saturday 9 to 5.

Senate executive committee 3:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

New student orientation Wednesday: campus tours depart 10:30 and 1:30 from visitors centre, South Campus Hall; reception and “services fair” 4:30 to 7:00, lower atrium, Student Life Centre. Details.

New engineering exchange students welcome and orientation Wednesday 11:00, Rod Coutts Hall room 208.

New international student orientation Wednesday 12:30 to 4:00, Physics room 150.

Return-to-campus interviews for co-op students (except architecture), January 5-7.

Weight Watchers at Work January 6, 13, 20 and 27, 12:15 p.m., Hagey Hall room 373; information ext. 32218.

Work reports due for most returning co-op students, Tuesday, January 11.

Application deadline for Ontario secondary school students to apply for September admission, January 12 (other deadlines pertain to some programs). Details.

Co-op job postings for spring work term begin on JobMine January 15, 7:00 a.m. Employer interviews (“main” group of students) January 25 through February 16; pharmacy students, January 28. Details.

Open class enrolment for winter term ends January 17.

Fall term grades become official January 24.

Volunteer and Internship Fair organized by Centre for Career Action, January 25, 11:00 to 2:30,  Student Life Centre.

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December 23 Daily Bulletin